• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Do you agree with the full title of the play, which suggests that Mortimer has his own tragedy?

Extracts from this document...


Rob Williams Do you agree with the full title of the play, which suggests that Mortimer has his own tragedy? There are many definitions of Tragedy, but a traditional tragedy can be described as, "an imitation of an action that is serious, complete and of a certain magnitude; in the form of drama, not of narrative, through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions (catharsis)." Tragedy must tell of a person who is "highly renowned and prosperous" and who falls as a result of some "error, or frailty," because of external or internal forces, or both." Aristotle claims that there are six basic elements to a tragedy: plot; character; diction (the choice of style, imagery, etc.); thought (the character's thoughts and the author's meaning); spectacle (all the visual effects); and song. ...read more.


Furthermore, many critics see the change in Mortimer from a patriotic, honest and uncompromising character to one full of duplicity, egotism and deception, as dramatically unrealistic and unsatisfying. Therefore his fall, because of its unrealistic portrayal is undermined from the start as the audience is unable to empathise with the character as they can, for example, with Lear. Mortimer's character, at the beginning of the play, is certainly not that of the tragic stereotype. Rather than being a powerful egotistical character that we see weaknesses in, he is young and attractive. He is authoritive, patriotic and plain (in that he says exactly what he feels) and although there are flaws in his character due to age, and hot-blooded nature, the audience, on the whole can admire him. ...read more.


We certainly see none of the duplicitous, ambitious character with which is evident in the later stages of the novel. Furthermore the character of Mortimer that the audience has seen so far is assisted by the epitaphs that are associated with him. He is described as 'gentle' and 'sweet', hardly words which you associate with a typical tragic hero at the beginning of a tragedy. His reaction to Gaveston, though probably not the most admirable side of his character cannot be criticised to heavily, for it is a view that is backed up the rest of the nobles. He significantly sees Gaveston as a "peevish French", his dislike of Gaveston does not stem from his sexuality, rather from the threat he poses to the stability of his country, and though he is once again rash when he says "Unless his breast be-sword plated" the audience can see the reasoning behind his motives. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. Is Hedda Gabler a Tragedy?

    The pistols, having descended to a coward and a cheat, bring only death without honour. Caroline W. Mayerson: This suggests that Hedda's descent has not been punctuated with any deep moral, and at the end the audience are left contemplating the inevitability of this woman's demise.

  2. Aristotle wrote in Poetics that tragedy should contain incidents arousing pity and fear and ...

    the audience hope for Chris' life to be re-aligned and end happily with his marriage to Ann. However this news arouses trepidation in the audience and characters because they do not understand as to how Kate might react because of her fragile state and her stubborn will.

  1. Remind yourself of the beginning of the play until where Bert exits on page ...

    about her, generally a positive opinion of her will be held by the audience. In the same way, we are also introduced to Kate's character, however there is a certain amount of tension when we learn about her - for example we only hear of her in terms of Joe's concern about what she will say about the tree.

  2. "Though the most corrupt character in the world of the play, Volpone's vitality and ...

    A superb example of his frankness is shown immediately in the opening scene with Mosca, in which he mischievously reveals his plans with the metaphor: "Letting the cherry knock against their lips, And draw it by their mouths and back again."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work